The UK exited the European Union on 31st January 2020. For the remainder of 2020, the UK was in a transition period by virtue of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement during which time EU law continued to apply in and in relation to the UK. The Brexit transition period ended on 31 December 2020 and, as of 1 January 2021, a new free-trade agreement between the UK and the EU applies – the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
The process and negotiations for the UK to exit the European Union were extremely complex. However, with the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed and in place, we now have a clearer picture of what lies ahead in terms of competition law and trade post-transition, including the Competition and Markets Authority’s role going forward.
Clearly, the political and economic background since the referendum on 23rd June 2016 has been changing at a pace in both the UK and the EU which has led to a great deal of uncertainty. Most recently this has been further de-stabilised by the COVID-19 pandemic. We, therefore, recognise that, more so than ever, businesses are looking for stability and clarity. What we can do is provide our clients with a full range of services and support that will be of practical use during this difficult period. There have been a number of implications for businesses as a result of Brexit, and we will meet you wherever you are at and work together to move forward.